Dialogues on Law and Justice
A MARS HILL AUDIO podcast

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December 2011
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Dialogues #4 - John Witte, Jr. on Law and the West

Legal historian John Witte, Jr. discusses why the positivist view of law has become less compelling. Like his mentor, the late Harold Berman, Witte argues that the key to understanding Western law lies in identifying the rich, early Western dialogue between religious and secular institutions; and it requires an understanding of the ways in which legal authority shifted between church and state throughout history. Similarly, Witte argues that because legal jurisdiction in various matters has shifted from the church to the state, religious presuppositions are still a part of the vocabulary Westerners have always used to define the meaning and limits of the law. If Witte’s formulation is correct, then the consistency of the Western legal system relies upon this strong interplay between secular and religious insights; the prevailing view since the Western Enlightenment, that laws can be described in purely “secular” terms, has had the effect of unravelling the substance of the Western legal tapestry originally woven from threads of secular and religious thought.

Direct download: Dialogues_4-John_WItte_Law_and_West.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:32pm EDT

Dialogues #3 - Michael McConnell on SCOTUS 2010

Just before the opening of the new term of the U. S. Supreme Court, the magazine First Things published a summary of the highlights of the 2010 term. The article was called “A Free Speech Year at the Court,” and it was written by Michael McConnell, director of the Constitutional Law Center at the Stanford Law School. On this edition of Dialogues, Professor McConnell talks with host Ken Myers about how the Court is increasingly collapsing all First Amendment freedoms into freedom of speech, a trend he finds disturbing.

Direct download: Dialogues_3-Michael_McConnell_on_2010.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:29pm EDT

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